Finding that perfect, age appropriate gift for men who have everything is such a challenge. As soon as you feel that you have gift giving dialed in for your children, they go and age on you, leaving you in the dark yet again.
In this article, I will offer unique gift ideas for guys ranging from 10 years old all the way up to 60.
So, lets dive right in. I will be sure to separate this article clearly so that you can navigate directly to the ages that are relevant to the men in your life.
- Modern Day 10 Year Old Boys. Shopping for children 10 years of age (and slightly older) used to be so simple. Give them a Lego set or a starter tool kit and you’d be good to go. Unfortunately, children seem to be aging faster and faster as time goes on. My four year old nephew can navigate his dad’s PC more efficiently than I can! What do you gift a 10 year old boy who grew up in this age of technology and has had exposure to cell phones, laptops, iPads, and web connected video games his whole life? (Without breaking the bank of course.) For this pre-teen age group, I recommend EyeClops gear. The EyeClops line provides children with the tools to explore and learn about the outdoors while still looking “cool” in their peers’ eyes (what kid wouldn’t love showing off his night vision binoculars?). EyeClops creates a number of different gadgets, ranging from bionic eyes to night vision goggles and projectors. Spark your child’s imagination and motivate him to get out and explore the world around him.
- Teenage Boys Who Know Everything Worth Knowing. Shopping for your teenage boy or younger brother can be the ultimate challenge. Keeping up with pre-teen and teen pop-culture is nearly impossible (and just not fun, let’s be honest).It also seems that children at this age are far more (and almost too) advanced than the previous generations. Finding a gift that will come across as a cool gift for a teenage boy while attempting to maintain his innocence is truly a challenge. For this uber-challenging age group, I have selected a day or weekend trip. No matter the geographic location or group of friends, every young man will have at least one thing that he is passionate about. If he is a sports guy, buy tickets for the sporting event he loves and present the tickets to him wrapped in a st louis cardinals st louis cardinals hoodie to wear to the event. If he is a music guy, do the same with tickets to a show that he would appreciate. There are events for almost any interest, so providing him with a surprise concert/game/show is sure to impress him and his friends. Bonus: you will have the opportunity to take advantage of the event (attend and bond with your boy) or provide him an extra ticket to give to friend. Doing the latter is sure to win you extra “cool” points.
- Early Twenty-Somethings…drifting away. This can be a really difficult age to face as a parent. Your boys are officially grown and their priorities start to shift. Who they were and who they are becoming can change drastically through this age, so it is best to go with a gift that is personalized yet universal (oxymoron?). Narrowing this down to a single item to recommend was difficult. Clearly, every twenty-something’s journey is going to be different. However, one thing is almost guaranteed; they will be experiencing change.For that reason, I have decided to recommend a digital camera for this age group. Prices have been dropping dramatically, and there are a number of cameras on the market suited for different interests.Have an artistic, pensive boy? Provide him with a camera that delivers quality shots and great color contrast. An active guy? Gift him a water and shock proof that can go almost anywhere with him. The list goes on…
- Mid to Late 20’s It’s official; these men are grown. From this point on, my recommendations will be less “parent” or “guardian” specific, and will open to siblings, boyfriends, friends; pretty much any relationship across the board. Now that your man has reached the point of independence and self- realization, it is likely that very personalized gifts will be the most appropriate. By this I mean gifts specific to his interests or where he is in his life, not necessarily engraved or embroidered items. Now, this suggestion is going to seem very random, but please bear with me. Guys at this point of their lives are facing a lot of important decisions and are likely taking on a lot more responsibility than they are used to. Give them respite from their crazy day-to-day and gift an advanced RC toy of some type. My Guys recommend either a remote control helicopter, airplane, or rock crawling truck. Some RC toys are even equipped with lasers and have a “battle mode.” I don’t think I know any 20 to early 30 year old man that wouldn’t love receiving something so seemingly ridiculous…
- Late 30’s to 40’s…Pre-Mid Life Crisis. The guys that fall into this category are most likely to be established, have a family, and a day-to-day routine that doesn’t vary much. It is this day-to-day that will begin to begin to ware on them, and set them up for the big mid-life crisis crash. Help ease the pain of his daily routine by planning an escape specific to his interests. I recommend planning it around something active or seemingly juvenile to remind him that he isn’t too old to move around, have a good time, and still feel like a boy. If you’re thinking “how do you expect me to be able to afford a trip” or “there’s no way he can get that much time off of work”, have no fear. I am not referring to an extensive, week-long trip. Even just claiming him for a weekend will refresh his spirit. For example: my fiancé just returned from a two month long work trip in Amsterdam. I didn’t tell him where we were going, booked a room in a bed and breakfast on Friday Harbor, and whisked him away on Saturday morning for two days of exploring on of the San Juan Islands, swimming in the (freezing!) ocean, and watching NCAA basketball in a small, local bar at night. He absolutely loved the trip, I earned points for giving him such a great surprise, and it definitely broke up his M-F work-work-work routine.
- 50 years old…Reminiscing; what have I made of myself? This age can feel like a huge step in many men’s lives. Questions like “what have I made of myself” are likely to creep into their minds. However, this age can mean great news for those gifting to these guys; thoughtful or meaningful gifts for guys evolve as men age. If you were to gift a photo album to a 22 year old man, he would like it, but is unlikely to show it off to his buddies or display it in a prominent place in his living space. Now that your guy has reached a more mature age, he is likely to appreciate his family, friends, and love much more. I recommend creating a scrapbook (non-feminine and full of text). Documenting his life, how much his family loves and cares about him, or preserving photos of all of his great adventures will touch his heart and remind him that he has accomplished a lot in his fifty years of life.
- 60 and counting…I’m still young and hip, right? Reaching 60 years feels like a momentous occasion for any man. He is likely to be comfortable with who he is, what he likes, and what he has decided to do with his life. Putting in some leg work and learning about the childhood of a man at this age will communicate that you really care and wanted to make this gift special. I recommend framing a photograph of this proud father/grandfather next to a photograph his children/grandchildren at the same age.
write by LISA RODRIGUEZ